Press Release
April 20, 2016

Before PNoy steps down
Make June 30 nat'l deadline for return of Bangladeshi money-Recto

All the loot recovered in the Philippines from money hacked from a Bangladesh bank should be returned to that country before President Aquino steps down from office on June 30, a senator said today.

"That should be our national deadline. Before President Aquino returns to private life, we must see to it that all the recoverable money from that heist has been returned to its rightful owner," Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto said.

"Pangit naman siguro that the counting and the canvass of 54 million votes and proclamation and the inauguration of the new president will take longer," Recto said.

"I am not saying that money stolen in minutes should be returned in minutes. There's a process to be followed. But it shouldn't take several long months either," he said.

"Before noon of June 30, nasauli na dapat," Recto said, referring to the high noon rites on that day when the new president takes "his or her" oath of office.

If the entire recovered amount will not be repatriated in one go for lack of court clearance, Recto said it would "still be okay if substantial tranches have been returned before June 30."

"Kung ang pagsauli ay by installment, dapat malaki ang unang downpayment," he said.

While suitcases of the cyberheist loot which ended up laundered in a Philippine bank and casinos have been turned over to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), its remittance to Bangladesh has to be cleared by the courts pursuant to law.

"All the bags are packed and ready to go, kaya lang dapat may okay ang korte, " Recto said.

Recto said Republic Act 10365 or the Anti-Money Laundering Act requires that monies seized from laundering activities can only be disposed via civil forfeiture.

The law requires the AMLC to file with the appropriate court through the Office of the Solicitor General, a verified ex parte petition for forfeiture, and the Rules of Court on Civil Forfeiture shall apply.

When the court has issued an order of forfeiture, any person claiming an interest on the seized funds may appeal that portions he is claiming to be lawfully his be excluded. So far, a total of $4.63M and P238.28M has been returned by casino junket operator Kim Wong to AMLC.

This as a money remittance firm, RCBC, and even the state gaming regulator have all expressed willingness to comply with any legal order ordering them to return parts of the cyberheist loot which ended up in their possession.

News Latest News Feed